Shelf Life & Expiration Date

Shelf Life & Expiration Date

When thinking about the quality of our products we always want to ensure the customer is receiving the best product we can manufacture. At the time of manufacture, we are absolutely certain the product will perform to the best of its ability once in the field because we test each product on site to ensure quality and performance standards are met. Products that fall short of those standards are not sent to the customer but instead are re-worked until they can meet proper standards. Once the product leaves our facility however the timeframe of quality and performance is no longer monitored. We, as a company, want to make sure that if the product we made needs to sit at a warehouse for some time that the product will still perform within the parameters measured on the first day it was manufactured.
This is where the shelf life is established.

The shelf life is simply a length of time a product can sit on the shelf and still perform up to quality tested standards, as long as it was properly packaged and properly stored. Based on these conditions the shelf life is indicative that the product has not undergone any physical or chemical changes that would impact quality or performance. All products we make are tested against the elements in order to see how Heat, Cold, Direct Sunlight, Darkness, etc. can all effect the product over time. If any of these elements would cause an issue for the product within its shelf life then the shelf life may be shortened to account for the instability that will occur over time or they may have special circumstances associated with them such as, “no-freeze”, or “keep out of direct sunlight.” Those that have special circumstances should be advocated to following the special instructions to ensure quality and performance for the extent of the shelf life.

To put it simply the majority of our products that we manufacture will have a recommended 24 month shelf life. Whether it be a general purpose cleaner, an oven and grill cleaner, a laundry detergent, a rinse aid, or an EPA registered disinfectant/sanitizer- they will all have a 24 month shelf life from the date of manufacture. This means that as long as the product is properly stored then they will perform as they did on day one.

It is important to note that the shelf life is a recommended amount of time determined by the company based on testing and results, it is not a use by, sell by, or safety date by any means. Once a product is past its shelf life date doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to be disposed of right away. The product may begin to develop physical or chemical changes that are visible past its shelf life but the efficacy or performance may not have been effected. Dyes and Scents begin to degrade after the 24 months and can begin to change the way the product looks but these are not compounds used for performance just for aesthetics. So, although they may not look appealing or “normal” the product is still useful. Because of this reason we do not mark the shelf life on the outer or inner packaging. If there is a question about shelf life please contact customer service (800-558-9566) so they can direct you to the proper dept.

As mentioned before, the only time we would see a shortened shelf life, to be less than 24 months, would be when we have products that contain a certain amount of chlorine bleach. Chlorine bleach (aka Sodium Hypochlorite) is a very unstable compound that can degrade quickly over time due to its inherent nature to gas off. As the Chlorine bleach continues to gas off it will lose its potency and effectiveness for cleaning/destaining/sanitizing. The shortened shelf life is determined by the level of chlorine bleach within the product, therefore the more bleach in a product, such as sanitizers and laundry destainers, the shorter the shelf life.

USC Sanitizer E.S., USC LL Destainer and UA Destainer Plus all have high amounts of chlorine bleach so they have a shelf life of 6 months. Other products that may use the aid of chlorine in cleaning or destaining but do not contain such high levels of chlorine and therefore would not become unstable as quickly, would be more along the lines of chlorinated detergents and some specialty cleaners. USC All Temp, USC All Temp HD, USC HydroKlor are just a few examples of chlorinated detergents which have a shelf life of 12 months. USC Maxi Foam, QuickLine White Glove, and USC Block Whitener are a few examples of specialty chlorinated products which have a shelf life of 12 months.

If a product has an expiration date associated with it however those products are not as flexible with their time frame. It is a hard set date determined by the manufacturer and registrar of the product to ensure safety standards are being met along with quality and performance standards. Expiration dates are used on products that have the potential to harm others by no longer working properly due to their degredation over time, such as antimicrobial hand soaps or high level alcohol based hand sanitizers (62% or more). Some examples of Expiry Products are: USC Shurguard HP and USC Shurguard HP RTU. USC Shurguard HP has an expiry date of 1080 days (~3 years) from date of manufacture while USC Shurguard HP RTU has an expiry date of 720 days from manufacture (~2 years). Expiration dates will always be printed on the outer packaging and on each inner unit (Bottles/Canisters) of the packaging, along with the lot code, time stamp, and date of manufacture. Products with an expiration date MUST be used before the Expiration Date printed on the bottle/container. Below are some examples of what an expiration date would look like on the outer packaging and inner units of the packaging.

Type of Chemical

Chlorine based chemicals Chlorinated Detergents Chlorinated Specialty Products Non-chlorinated Chemicals Expiration Date
Shelf Life 6 months 12 months 12 months 24 months Expiry
Examples USC Sanitizer E.S USC All Temp USC Maxi Foam Mechanical Warewash Detergents, GP Cleaners, Oven & Grill Cleaners, Rinse Aids, RR/bowl Cleaners, Sour, Softener, Break, Suds, Floor Cleaner, etc. USC Shurguard HP (1080 days)
USC LL Destainer USC All Temp HD USC Block Whitener USC Shurguard HP RTU (720 days)
UA Destainer Plus USC HydroKlor QuickLine
White Glove